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Welcome to SCN Careers and Skills Space. A very special welcome if this is your first time on planet SAP visiting the territory SCN. You may have heard about us from a friend or a family member. Possibly your university lecturer covered a SAP topic in your lecture. You have become hooked on SAP – even if you have no idea what it actually is. You have been told it is the path to riches, respect (sing it out R.E.S.P.E.C.T) and success as long as you invest wisely and choose carefully.

The job title of SAP Consultant is at your fingertips…if only ONLY you could get your foot in the door. You are about to invest your hard-earned (maybe borrowed) currency into training or perhaps you just completed it. You might be here to find out what area of SAP to study (in some cases the Training and Education space might be more helpful). You might even be here (unaware of the SAP Certification space) trying to obtain direction as to which Certification Exam you should sit/write. You could also be here asking for other advice or venting frustration that you are not getting any job interviews. Why won’t anyone give freshers a chance sound familiar?

Whatever your motivation for wanting to ask a question here is, has it ever occurred to you that your actions on SCN might actually be like a job interview (or come back to haunt you in one)? You are participating in a professional community: the SAP community. You are most likely using your real name (I hope so) and sufficient information to identify yourself (but I hope not too much). Let’s pretend the question you are about to ask us is an indication of your communication skills and work ethic. Or even better, what if you were the interviewer and below is what you receive for a candidate’s application?


Pls tell me wat i shuld study for right carrier i dont no wat is SAP but will learn 4 gud job thnx

So what are your thoughts here? Remember you are part of the interview panel and you need to decide if this applicant is worthy of an opportunity in your company. That is, are they someone you want to invest in for training and development? Are they someone you could trust to communicate effectively with your customers or will clearly articulate technical requirements?  Are they demonstrating they have the ability to think for themselves? Are they showing initiative in performing basic research first?  Who else is answering No to all of these questions? On a positive, with the ‘pls’ and ‘thnx’ they do seem polite.

Interview over. Score Card is 0. If you are this type of applicant, I’m sorry but you didn’t get the job. You might now argue that I am being unfair as I have not given you the chance to demonstrate your domain or technical skills – after all you passed your certification! The reality is there are so many qualified people out there so as the employer I have the luxury to demand a candidate who is both knowledgeable and can communicate as well. And in reality if this was an actual job, your application would not make it to my desk as the HR department – who has no idea what your skill is – already rejected your application to thin the numbers.

You are here asking for advise and that’s what this space is partly here for (we also like to discuss skills and development). I empathise that you have strong competition and there aren’t enough entry-level jobs for everyone. It can be quite stressful and disheartening to invest so much time, money and energy only to receive constant rejection – or worse silence. You might already be at your wit’s end and ready to fabricate your resume (please I beg you don’t) to get a job.

Or perhaps you did a little research and you are aware the strong competition to get a job. You realise the investment is costly so you find yourself here wanting valuable career advice. My advise for you to nail this interview (question) and be the successful candidate (receive meaningful tailored advise to your situation) is to take the time to figure out what you want to ask and take even more time to write a meaningful question.

And remember, a future employer might Google your name and come across your participation in SCN. What conclusion do you think they will form about you? Do you think you will be successful if they read what you wrote?

Summary of this and why as moderator I have sent you here: if you want career advice in this space please:

  • Follow the SCN Rules of Engagement
  • Search SCN first to see if your situation has already been discussion (if everyone uses meaningful titles then you will find this easier);
  • Read the blogs in this space as well as Training and Education and SAP Certification;
  • If you do not know what SAP is then Google first and read up on it. There is a wealth of knowledge out there and in SCN. Have a look at Learning Hub (discovery edition is free) to get an overview of the SAP components;
  • When posting a question:
    • Have a look the following tips in the blog Asking Good Questions in the SCN Discussion Spaces will help you get Good Answers
    • Use proper English not slang or text speak (consider those whose primary language is not English) – this is part of SCN Rules of Engagement
    • Write a meaningful title (do not write generic titles like “Help!!!!!”  or “Career Advise” or “Pls suggest”) – make your title relevant to your question (e.g. SAP FI trained seeking advise on additional skills).
    • In your details provide background information about yourself (education/qualification; exposure to SAP or how your learned about SAP; what your believe your strengths and interests are; what research have you done; do you have end user or domain experience; etc). The more context your provide the less chance you will receive generic cookie-cutter responses.
    • Do not ask for someone to provide tell you what the “right” module will be as this entirely depends on your aptitude, interest, etc. We can provide options but only you can decide if it is right.
    • Do not include your personal details (email, phone, address, resume, etc) in your post as this is against the SCN Rules of Engagement.
  • If you ask a question, then acknowledge the replies and ensure that you mark your question as answered. I suspect the Career Space has the highest ratio of open questions and I would love to see that change.

What are your thoughts? Do you have any other suggestions on how someone new to SAP can put their best foot forward when participating in this space?

Regards

Colleen

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21 Comments

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  1. Steffi Warnecke

    Great write-up, Colleen!

    I think you got pretty much all covered, that somebody posting here should follow and a lot that they need to think about when posting in any of the spaces in general.

    So I don’t have a suggestion for users, but one for you space-moderators for this:

    I suspect the Career Space has the highest ratio of open questions and I would love to see that change.

    Since most of the time for those career-questions there is not that one correct answer, maybe you could just pre-set the threads as discussions instead of questions. I don’t know if there is a setting to do this for a specific space, but here is would fit better IMO.

    Just wanted to through this in here. 🙂

    Regards,

    Steffi.

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  2. Florian Henninger

    Hi Colleen,

    this is a very good welcome to the new members of SCN, not just in the career space 🙂

    This should be pinned on top of the space.

    Thank you Colleen.

    ~Florian

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    1. Colleen Hebbert Post author

      thanks Florian.. I’ll add that to the list. We don’t have a space editor for Careers so I’m not sure who does the layout. I will have to follow up. However, I think there will be a few other blogs that could be included.

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  3. Jelena Perfiljeva

    I wish the employers/clients could google some names and find their SCN spec-dumping posts, but such members usually conveniently hide behind “SAP ABAP” or “SD Guy” and other pseudonyms.

    And as a friend of SCN Grammar Police I’d say – never use text speak, period. Even in the text messages. Just say “no” to text speak. 🙂

    Liked, rated, bookmarked (c) Otto Gold – thank you, Colleen!

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    1. Colleen Hebbert Post author

      Hi Jelena

      Yes it would be nice. My grammar police is my mother – qualified English teacher – and a heap of other teachers in my family. She is on my Facebook page and she still corrects my status updates!

      Very few people are 100% perfect at written language. I’m certain if mum read this blog she’d find a bunch of mistakes. However, text speak is not appropriate here and there’s only so many times I will edit titles to something meaningful before I reject content.

      Text speak is a hangover from older technology – limited to so many characters (think Nokia phones). On smartphones I actually find it slower to use text speak as predictive text beats me to it. When someone rights “ur” I wonder how much time they think they saved instead of writing “your”

      Oh well.. can only hope things improve

      Cheers

      Colleen

      P.s.-  thanks liking, rating, bookmarking and sharing!

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  4. Amit Anasane

    Hi Colleen,

    thanks for sharing great blog,

    my thought on this:

    is it possible to display the threads or discussions which are similar to the discussion being created while creating a thread/discussion for any user of SCN, i think this could make sense if he/she is creating a discussion which is already created and discussed lot more times in past and displays may be at right hand side in the forum, this could avoid repeated discussions being created, i have seen this type of interactive system in other help/solution providing software’s. just a thought might help to our community members, thanks

    Regards,

    Amit Anasane

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    1. Colleen Hebbert Post author

      Hi Amit

      This may have some limits on Jive Platform that SCN runs off. I think there has been an Idea in SAP Ideas place to use question to be like creating an incident in marketplace. Before creating the question a search would occur and bring up result that resemble your question.

      With some of the feedback, I will look at ways to improve content accessibility in this area 🙂

      Regards

      Colleen

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  5. Joao Sousa

    I would advise people to read their posts about 3 times before submitting. I do it, and my english is  better then the majority you see here on SCN (for non-native). Even then, I make mistakes.

    And besides reading 3 times, people should think 3 times if they would want a potencial recruiter to see the question they are about to post (which is the point you make, but I really think it should be repeated again and again). Yesterday in SAP Business Workflow book blog, someone asked the writer for tips, and video tutorials on how to start his journey into SAP workflow. In the SAP workflow book blog! If any recruiter sees this question…. game over, some people seem to be oblivious to this fact.

    Oh, I almost forget. People should provide desired location for their job. I can make the stereotype characterization and assume someone whose name looks Indian wants to work in India but:

    • It may not be true that they want to work in India;
    • My name may sound european (or not) but I’m pretty sure few will guess the country, and if they “do” it’s probably Spain or Brasil (it’s not, it’s Portugal! 🙂 ). Same thing happens when europeans are trying to figure out the country of people from Asia, we will get it wrong….
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    1. Colleen Hebbert Post author

      Hi Joao

      Guilty – I had Brasil in my mind. You are absolutely right, we all make assumptions about people and situations when facts are not present.

      Thanks for feedback

      Regards

      Colleen

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  6. Steffi Warnecke

    Adding to Joao’ post:

    Maybe this space or more that kind of threads (“need advice on SAP career”) would benefit from a template.

    I don’t know if this is possible on the platform, but when you create a thread here, it could be already filled with a list of information the OP should provide to get the best help (like the list Colleen gave: “education/qualification; exposure to SAP or how your learned about SAP; what your believe your strengths and interests are; what research have you done; do you have end user or domain experience; etc”).

    Like a form he/she has to fill out to the best knowledge.

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    1. Colleen Hebbert Post author

      I had actually thought of including a template on questions to ask but held back a bit as I felt I would be imposing my communication style on someone. At the moment, my goal is to redirect people to this thread when it hits the moderation queue.

      I am considering the titles all start with a label like [Career Advise] but that would take moderation to keep on top of.

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  7. Steffi Warnecke

    I think a template would help to structure such a thread and since most of them follow the same red line anyway, this would be the perfect opportunity for a template. It’s probably better and faster instead of having to ask the same questions over and over again, because the OP give so little information when he creates the thread.

    But that’s just a little brainstorming. I bet you have a lot of ideas in your pocket already. 😉

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  8. Antonio Menoyo

    This article is actually spot on. Help yourself by helping other!

    Why because when you help others you end up learning things about yourself.

    Even realized and also you suddenly discover skills you never knew you had.

    You discover some new  learned skills which  might open the door to a new exciting career.

    The other side of the story you learn about your limitations and quickly realize were there is a need for development.

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  9. S A

    Good one Colleen! I would like to add a wee bit to this if I may.

    I would like to point out to the new users, not to get too bogged down by the whole potential employer thing. No disrespect to Colleen. Everything she’s mentioned here is spot on. However I can understand this can be a bit daunting to some people and might even discourage them from asking questions. I’m sure that is not the objective of this post.

    If I were an employer, I would rather see my employee make an effort to ask questions even if the question is silly. To me personally, that would show initiative and a willingness to learn. Considering there are people from all kinds of backgrounds here, what’s silly to you and me might not be for the person asking it, especially if they are just starting out. I’m sure we’ve all been there once!

    So as long as the basic etiquette, as mentioned so brilliantly by Colleen, is followed and you made a genuine effort to find out if the question has been asked before or not, then by all means ask without any inhibitions guys. As we all know there is no shortcut to knowledge and we can learn better if we know how/what to ask. If not we have to change this title to ‘The interview you will never have’ 😉

    Regards,

    Leo..

    P.S: “Pls tell me wat i shuld study for right carrier i dont no wat is SAP but will learn 4 gud job thnx”. Awesome Colleen, I couldn’t stop laughing!! I wonder, who you were trying to channel here.

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    1. Colleen Hebbert Post author

      Hi Leo

      Thanks for reading this and providing feedback. The employer aspect is purely because this blog is written for the Careers space based on the type of questions being asked here. The key audience here are typically new to SAP looking for ways to start (or restart) their career.

      You are right to an extent about not worrying about what you employer would think when asking a question – so long as you have checked it has not been asked. However, one key point I am attempting to make is SCN is a professional site and you need to think about the language you use to communicate (as well as effort). If you were to read some of the questions that are poorly worded (some not even questions) and asking to be told what to do would you want that employee in your area?

      As an example of your comment (not Careers related)…Being new to SAP or a specific product is fine. But if you have done the research first you would not ask a basic “how do I do xyz?”. Instead you would ask for assistance as you have attempted “xyz” and it’s not working but you have also taking the time to explain what you have done, why you have done it and what validation you have also done. From here, someone in the community would be able to read your detailed post and offer you tailored advise and not have to ask a 100 follow up questions to properly understand your issues whilst the point-chasers jump in sending you to other links that probably won’t help you as they contribute to link farm mess in SCN without actually being of any assistance to you.

      By treating what you do on SCN as though you were going for a job or trying to impress your employer, it might make you think twice about how you should ask your questions or even respond.

      When communicating, we must always consider our audience  more than ourselves to convey our message.

      We could debate whether the statement “there’s not such thing as a silly question” is try or not but it would be fair to agree that there exists such a thing as a lazy question 🙂

      Regards

      Col

      Ps – that line was me taking a string of typical questions and responses in this space to string them together. Humour is sometimes helpful in getting a message through:)

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      1. S A

        My apologies Colleen. I did not realize this is just meant to be for career space. I rather overlooked that bit and thought this was more of a generic go to place when it hits the moderation stage. My bad!!

        In regards to the “point-chasers”, I am beginning to see not everyone’s reason for contributing is selfless after all. But then again, regardless of their intention/motivation, the end result works in the favour of the overall community, especially for newbies like myself. So its a win win for everyone I suppose.

        Regards,

        Leo..

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  10. ab manikantesh

    Hii collen,

    This is the best answer, i am very thankul to you and i keep this answer  as a positive suggestion. this looks like

    Too cool, too hot, too smart answer but not bad

    “Pls tell me wat i shuld study for right carrier i dont no wat is SAP but will learn 4 gud job thnx”

    regards

    Mani;

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    1. Colleen Hebbert Post author

      Thanks Mani for taking Steffi’s advise and reading this.

      You might get better assistance in your question is you add the context of what you are trying to achieve in relation to SAP Mobile.

      Good luck!

      Regards

      Colleen

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